Parable of the soils
1Jesus began to teach beside the lake again. Such a large crowd gathered that he climbed into a boat there on the lake. He sat in the boat while the whole crowd was nearby on the shore. 2He said many things to them in parables. While teaching them, he said, 3“Listen to this! A farmer went out to scatter seed. 4As he was scattering seed, some fell on the path; and the birds came and ate it. 5Other seed fell on rocky ground where the soil was shallow. They sprouted immediately because the soil wasn’t deep. 6When the sun came up, it scorched the plants; and they dried up because they had no roots. 7Other seed fell among thorny plants. The thorny plants grew and choked the seeds, and they produced nothing. 8Other seed fell into good soil and bore fruit. Upon growing and increasing, the seed produced in one case a yield of thirty to one, in another case a yield of sixty to one, and in another case a yield of one hundred to one.” 9He said, “Whoever has ears to listen should pay attention!”
Jesus explains his parable
10When they were alone, the people around Jesus, along with the Twelve, asked him about the parables. 11He said to them, “The secret of God’s kingdom has been given to you, but to those who are outside everything comes in parables. 12This is so that they can look and see but have no insight, and they can hear but not understand. Otherwise, they might turn their lives around and be forgiven.
13“Don’t you understand this parable? Then how will you understand all the parables? 14The farmer scatters the word. 15This is the meaning of the seed that fell on the path: When the word is scattered and people hear it, right away Satan comes and steals the word that was planted in them. 16Here’s the meaning of the seed that fell on rocky ground: When people hear the word, they immediately receive it joyfully. 17Because they have no roots, they last for only a little while. When they experience distress or abuse because of the word, they immediately fall away. 18Others are like the seed scattered among the thorny plants. These are the ones who have heard the word; 19but the worries of this life, the false appeal of wealth, and the desire for more things break in and choke the word, and it bears no fruit. 20The seed scattered on good soil are those who hear the word and embrace it. They bear fruit, in one case a yield of thirty to one, in another case sixty to one, and in another case one hundred to one.”
Parables about lamps and measures
21Jesus said to them, “Does anyone bring in a lamp in order to put it under a basket or a bed? Shouldn’t it be placed on a lampstand? 22Everything hidden will be revealed, and everything secret will come out into the open. 23Whoever has ears to listen should pay attention!”
24He said to them, “Listen carefully! God will evaluate you with the same standard you use to evaluate others. Indeed, you will receive even more. 25Those who have will receive more, but as for those who don’t have, even what they don’t have will be taken away from them.”
More parables about God’s kingdom
26Then Jesus said, “This is what God’s kingdom is like. It’s as though someone scatters seed on the ground, 27then sleeps and wakes night and day. The seed sprouts and grows, but the farmer doesn’t know how. 28The earth produces crops all by itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full head of grain. 29Whenever the crop is ready, the farmer goes out to cut the grain because it’s harvesttime.”
30He continued, “What’s a good image for God’s kingdom? What parable can I use to explain it? 31Consider a mustard seed. When scattered on the ground, it’s the smallest of all the seeds on the earth; 32but when it’s planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all vegetable plants. It produces such large branches that the birds in the sky are able to nest in its shade.”
33With many such parables he continued to give them the word, as much as they were able to hear. 34He spoke to them only in parables, then explained everything to his disciples when he was alone with them.
Jesus stops a storm
35Later that day, when evening came, Jesus said to them, “Let’s cross over to the other side of the lake.” 36They left the crowd and took him in the boat just as he was. Other boats followed along.
37Gale-force winds arose, and waves crashed against the boat so that the boat was swamped. 38But Jesus was in the rear of the boat, sleeping on a pillow. They woke him up and said, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re drowning?”
39He got up and gave orders to the wind, and he said to the lake, “Silence! Be still!” The wind settled down and there was a great calm. 40Jesus asked them, “Why are you frightened? Don’t you have faith yet?”
41Overcome with awe, they said to each other, “Who then is this? Even the wind and the sea obey him!”